The Georgia men’s swimming and diving team finished in fifth place as the NCAA Championships concluded Saturday at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the Georgia Tech campus.
On the heels of the Lady Bulldogs’ national championship a week earlier, the Bulldogs finished the four-day competition with 239.5 points. Team honors went to Texas with 541.5 points, followed by California (351), Florida (334), N.C. State (314) and the Bulldogs. Eight SEC schools wound up in the Top 25.
“I am positively ecstatic with our team’s performance this week,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “These guys have absolutely been warriors. We lost a lot of firepower from last year, but we still moved up from seventh to fifth. We got some incredible performances from our guys, whether it was a school record or a personal record or whatever it was. Their preparation for this meet could not have gone better. This was nearly a perfect meet for us. At most meets, you look back and think about what could’ve been in places. We do not feel that way about this one.”
Georgia has finished in the Top 10 at the NCAAs eight times in the last nine seasons and 16 times overall (15 under Bauerle and once under B.W. “Bump” Gabrielsen, for whom the Bulldogs’ facility is named).
Pace Clark came in fourth in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:40.17. That broke the school record of 1:40.60 set in 2011 by Mark Dylla, who presented Clark his trophy after the race. Gunnar Bentz took seventh in 1:41.85 and Mick Litherland was 14th in 1:43.36.
Michael Trice placed seventh in the 100 freestyle as he reached the wall in 42.65. During prelims, Trice lowered his own school record as he went 42.35. Matias Koski wound up 12th in 42.68.
In the 200 backstroke, Jay Litherland placed 14th with a time of 1:41.00.
The 400 freestyle relay composed of Koski, Taylor Dale, Bentz and Trice posted a school-record time of 2:49.84 to earn fifth, eclipsing the old mark of 2:51.29 set Saturday morning in prelims.
The highlights show from the women’s NCAAs (won by Georgia) will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU, followed by the men’s show on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.